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Graphics Cards

 

In today's day and age where everyone is vying for more processor power, larger hard drives, more RAM, and larger monitors, it still amazes me just how many people are barely pushing their graphics cards. I'm not talking about the serious gamer with dual Voodoo2 SLI 3D graphics cards, but your every day user who after buying their new computer, never even bothered to change their resolution and color depth from the Windows defaults.

I spend a good chunk of my time troubleshooting and repairing people's computers, and it seems like the very first thing I do when I sit down is to max out their resolution and color depth. Most computers nowadays will support at least 1024x768x24bpp, but I am consistently faced with machines set up for 640x480x4bpp.

So what is this 640x480x4bpp thing? Well, the first two numbers refer to the number of pixels that are displayed on the screen at one time. A pixel stands for Picture Element, and is the smallest unit that can be used to form an image. You put a bunch of pixels together to form a picture. The first of the two is the number of pixels that are displayed horizontally, and the second is the number of pixels displayed vertically. The third number represents the number of bits used to "describe" a particular color (the bpp stands for Bits Per Pixel.)

Why am I picking on this?? Well for one, your icons are bigger than your head... Ok, maybe not that big, but they do eat up a lot of screen real-estate. Also any applications you run also take up quite a bit of screen. There are advantages and disadvantages of increasing your resolution.



Advantages/Disadvantages
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